Background To Business in Canada

Canada is the second largest country in the world (after Russia) but almost 90% of the population live within 200km of the border with the US.

This means that vast tracts of Canada are uninhabited wilderness and that, if you are doing business in Canada, you are never likely to be too far geographically from the States.

This close proximity is defining for Canadian business as the largest trade relationship of any two countries in the world is the one between the US and Canada. Canadians are keen to stress that they are not American – but they cannot survive without this bi-lateral trade. So you need to bear in mind that although close to the USA geographically, there are definitely differences in general approach to business between the USA and Canada and Canadians are sometimes known to take exception to any assumptions being made on this matter.

Canada is a large, vibrant economy with a population of over thirty million people. It has a number of global companies and an extremely successful export industry. Canada deserves consideration in its own right, rather than as merely a neighbour of the States.

The Canadian economy has survived the post 2008 recession in relatively good health and is very successful in areas such as telecommunications, mining and insurance.

A brief overview of some key concepts to consider when doing business in Canada

Written and Produced by Keith Warburton

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This country profile has been produced to give a short overview of some of the key concepts to bear in mind when doing business with contacts in Canada. It is intended to be an aid to business people who have commercial dealings with counterparties in the country but should not be seen as an exhaustive guide to this topic or as a substitute for more substantial research should there be a need.

With this in mind, we have covered the areas which are key to a better understanding of the cultural mindset underpinning business dealings in Canada and which are, quite often, extremely different from the approach and thought processes associated with business in other parts of the world.

Therefore this briefing note is broken into short, bite-sized sections on the following topics:

  • Background to business
  • Business Structures
  • Management style
  • Meetings
  • Teamwork
  • Communication
  • Women in business
  • Entertaining
  • Top tips